Thirteen Ways of Looking at the American Flag
As a sari while scrounging
For food in America’s dumpster.
As down payment on a hospital death bed.
As promise to suspend habeas corpus.
As camouflaged team uniforms in the “war on terror.”
As message from God.
As wistful memory of the imaginary American Dream.
As dubious plot to make all men equal when they
Are surely not, never were, and never will be.
As walk-off home run in a nuclear war.
As jealous amateur in a chili cook-off.
As highlight film in a vacuum-sealed
Plastic container in Baltimore.
As ideology before common sense.
As the silly advancement of technology.
As Bob Hope’s nose.
from Cello Music & Other Poems
by Terry Simons